Durbin, Duckworth Statement On MLB Announcement Of Extended Netting

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that all 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams will extend protective netting next season:

“With more foul balls being hit at high speeds into the stands than ever before, it was imperative for MLB to address ballpark safety at the Winter Meetings.  Extending protective netting well beyond the end of each dugout will make the ballpark a safer place for fans to enjoy a game. Some teams, including the Chicago White Sox, have already extended nets to the foul poles and we applaud them for doing so.  We thank MLB and Commissioner Manfred for their efforts on this issue and for heeding our concerns,” said Durbin and Duckworth.

In June, after repeated incidents of MLB fans being hit by foul balls, Durbin and Duckworth wrote to Commissioner Manfred urging him to have all 30 MLB teams extend protective netting to the right and left field corners at all ballparks. The Senators have also asked MLB to collect and report data about fan injuries at MLB stadiums.  This year, Durbin met with MLB fans who suffered injuries after being hit by foul balls and listened to their concerns about ballpark safety.